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Palo Alto: Gordon Biersch reopens as Dan Gordon's

Uploaded: Mar 24, 2016
Almost three decades since Dan Gordon opened the first Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant in downtown Palo Alto, he's revamped and reopened the brew-centric restaurant as Dan Gordon's.

Gordon Biersch temporarily shut its doors at 640 Emerson St. in September to undergo a full renovation. Gordon had reunited with the brewery’s first-ever bar manager, Steve Sincheck (now the owner of downtown Palo Alto’S Old Pro and Local Union 271), to redo the physical space, menu and brew options.

Gordon opened Gordon Biersch with Dean Biersch in 1988. They sold the Palo Alto outpost about 17 years ago, and the private equity firm that eventually took it over recently told Gordon that they were thinking about shutting it down, Gordon said. The firm had closed the San Francisco location a few years ago, too.

"I said, 'No way; this is my baby. We gotta get it back,'" Gordon recalled.

So he bought it back, partnered with Sincheck and they "poured our heart and souls into it — along with a lot of money — to make it something spectacular," he said.

Dan Gordon's soft opened last week (the week of March 14) with 11 beers on tap. Seven are Gordon Biersch “flagships,” German-style beers, and four are new "Dan Gordon-line" brews, more American-style craft ales, Gordon said. The Gordon Biersch classics include Märzen, Pilsner, Blonde Bock, Hefeweizen, Golden Ecport and Dunklewiezen. The newcomers include an IPA, pale ale and brown ale.

From right to left, Gordon Biersch's Goldon Export, Marzen and Schwarzbier. Photo by Michelle Le/Palo Alto Weekly.

"WILDCIDE," a new hard cider Gordon makes from apples, California-produced wines and American whiskeys, will also be on tap.

They also "refocused the food on things that we felt would be extraordinary well-paired with beers," landing on barbecue. Armed with a 750-pound smoker, the kitchen is turning out everything from 18-hour smoked brisket and ribs to smoked chicken wings. Other dishes include fried Brussel sprouts, grilled artichoke, poutine, biscuits, grits, a pulled pork sandwich, salads and more.

Everything is "farm to table," Gordon said. The menu notes where some ingredients hailed from.

He said he and Sincheck plan to be very hands-on owners and will be in the new space often.

"It’s just fantastic going full circle, 28 years later to come back where everything started for Gordon Biersch," he said.

Today, there are more than 30 Gordon Biersch restaurants, some franchises, across the nation. The Palo Alto location was the first. The actual brewing and bottling facility is located in San Jose.

The new Dan Gordon's just opened for lunch this week. Hours are 11 a.m. to midnight, Sunday through Wednesday, and 11 a.m to 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Interested, a resident of Downtown North,
on Mar 24, 2016 at 4:05 pm

Link to menu? prices? noise level?

Posted by Gale Johnson, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Mar 24, 2016 at 4:32 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

I must be getting old fast. Three decades? I can remember going there when they first opened. I liked looking at that brewing vat in the back. The cheeseburger and fries were great as was the beer. I might have to hobble down there again with my cane and try it out.

Posted by Observer, a resident of University South,
on Mar 25, 2016 at 8:40 am

The new restaurant is great! GB had been on a downhill track for the last five years - the old menu was large and most of it was mediocre at best. With the new menu, they did two things - bbq and beer - and they did them very well. My wife and I are going back for our next date night.

Note that the new space is loud and crowded, though - it's a brewpub, not fine dining.

Posted by Stu Soffer, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks,
on Mar 28, 2016 at 12:41 pm

I still consider it the Bijou Theater. So there,

Posted by Patron Patrone, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on Mar 28, 2016 at 5:17 pm

I always had good food there, back in the day especially. We stopped going downtown due to some family encounters with some of the problematic people you run into along Univ from time to time.
Anyway, we didn't stop going because of the food, and reading above, it may lure us back to the mean streets of downtown Palo Alto (haha).
Now I'm craving a BBQ cheeseburger.

Posted by growler, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Mar 28, 2016 at 9:16 pm

Gordon Biersch (GB) sold 2 liters of GB beer (a growler refill) for about $12 a few years ago, at this location.

Now, Dan Gordon's sells the same 2 liters of the same GB beer for $25.

'Nuf said.

Posted by Not quite 'nuf, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on Mar 29, 2016 at 6:57 am

'nuf said for some, others are still very intrigued. Check 7/11. 24 oz cans of malt liquor for 1.29.

Posted by Jaime, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Oct 6, 2016 at 6:45 pm

I am long term customer of GB. I was really sad when the SF restaurant closed. It would have been even sadder to see the Palo Alto one going as well. I am happy to see that Mr. Gordon decided to keep it alive... sometimes money is not the only pourpose of business and I am happy he protected his baby. I wish all the best of lucks to him and his partners and I will for sure be a loyal customer of the new Dan Gordon's restaurant. I am sure it is going to be even better than the great GB

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